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6 Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Avoid these top causes of brain injuries and learn about your legal right to compensation if you or a loved one are affected

common causes of traumatic brain injury

Scientists are beginning to learn a lot more about traumatic brain injury (TBI) thanks to research conducted in recent years. While doctors used to treat a concussion as a simple bump to the head, we're now learning that even small injuries to the brain can have devastating long-term consequences.

From a legal standpoint, these chronic injuries pose problems for those afflicted, making total medical costs difficult to calculate and damages hard to prove. In these situations, it helps to hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in brain injury cases. At Gilreath & Associates, we have extensive experience with serious Tennessee injury cases and have built strong relationships with experts we can call on to prepare your case.

Listed below are several common causes of brain injury in the US.

1. Car Accidents

In a car accident, the brain can come into contact with the skull because of the force that's created upon impact. The brain can also suffer injuries when a person's head hits the steering wheel, glass or any other objects. A brain injury from a car accident is often a closed-head injury.

Even though a closed-head injury might not show on the outside, it can still be very serious. That's because the impact of closed-head brain trauma can diffuse throughout the brain and impact numerous areas of normal brain function.

A person who is hurt in a car accident should receive immediate medical attention to check for brain trauma, even if they don’t show any of the common symptoms associated with TBI.

2. Slip and Falls

A slip and fall can happen anywhere—an icy sidewalk, in a store, or in a home. When it happens, many people hit their head. This can sometimes result in a skull fracture, internal bleeding, a traumatic brain injury or any combination of these injuries.

3. Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or healthcare professional is negligent and makes a mistake such as when the brain is deprived of oxygen (known as “hypoxia”). When the body doesn't have the oxygen that it needs to function, brain cells begin to die quickly.

When medical professionals make an error in anesthesia, medication doses or even supplemental oxygen levels, hypoxia can occur. If medical professionals don't notice the error before it's too late, the damage may be irreversible.

4. Intentional Violence

While negligence usually plays a role, traumatic brain injury can also occur because of an intentional act such as domestic violence, assault and battery or gun violence. Brain injuries that occur due to intentional violence can lead to open, visible wounds such as bruises to the face, head and skull. These can be signs of severe, internal brain injuries.

5. Sports Accidents

Sports accidents are a leading cause of concussion. Some sports have intentional contact such as football and wrestling. Other sports have incidental contact including volleyball and basketball. Even in sports like track and gymnastics, where others aren't involved in direct play, accidents can occur.

Evidence of “micro trauma” in the brain is becoming more widely studied. Even if blows to the brain might seem small, chronic brain damage can result if they're not given proper treatment. NFL players, for instance, are frequently being diagnosed with chronic brain trauma well after they retire.

In addition, when an athlete returns to play too soon following a concussion, they're at risk for very serious injuries or death if they sustain another brain injury.

6. Accidents in the home

An accident can occur anywhere, at any time—including in the home. A fall from a ladder while hanging up Christmas lights or falling in the shower can cause devastating, long term injuries. Falling objects from high shelves can even cause a devastating blow to the brain.

Many accidents in the home are preventable. If you're hurt in your home because of a defective product, the manufacturer might be liable for your injuries.

Why are brain injuries so serious?

A traumatic brain injury can have immediate consequences as well as lifelong repercussions. A blow to the brain can cause immediate disability and impairment. Even if there are no immediate signs of damage, a brain injury that goes untreated can cause chronic headaches.

Brain injuries can even cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a severe brain disease that researchers are only just beginning to understand. The effects of CTE can be devastating. Suffers report increased confusion, aggression and even elevated suicide rates.

Fighting for justice and compensation after a brain injury

One of the greatest challenges of a brain injury is that the extent of the damage often isn't immediately evident. If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury due to the negligence of another individual or a manufacturer, an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney at Gilreath & Associates can make sure you take the right steps to carefully identify and document your injuries.

Brain and head injuries are complex cases and the road to physical recovery can be a long one—if it’s possible at all. But when you work with our experienced Tennessee brain injury attorneys, you can financially recover quickly. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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